PhD Fellowship Muscle Cell Biology Copenhagen

The department of biomedical sciences at the university of Copenhagen is offering a PhD fellowship in Muscle Cell Biology commencing October 1st 2020 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Group and research

Their research work focuses on (i) the understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms causing acquired and genetic muscle diseases; and (ii) providing sufficient knowledge to identify drug targets and design novel therapeutic interventions (including exercise). For that, they use primarily human muscle tissue but also animal samples together with a portfolio of techniques ranging from single molecule biophysics to whole muscle physiology and from X-ray diffraction to high-resolution confocal microscopy allowing deep mechanistic studies.

Project description

Skeletal muscles are composed of numerous cells called muscle fibres, the basic units for generating muscle strength and, ultimately, movement. These fibres feature a large number of proteins, known as contractile proteins. In normal muscle fibres, these proteins are well-organised allowing an optimal production of force. In certain muscle disorders termed congenital myopathies, these proteins are not encoded properly and mutant molecules are then expressed. Patients with these molecular defects suffer from deleterious muscle weakness. The mechanisms by which these mutant proteins induce skeletal muscle weakness are currently not known. In the present research project, we, therefore, investigate how the mutants affect (i) protein function; (ii) the generation of the force of muscle fibres; and (iii) the consequences on the cellular architecture using unique biophysical and immuno-histochemical assays and tissue from human patients as well as animal models. Deciphering these mechanisms will allow us to design effective therapeutic interventions.  

Principal supervisor is Associate Professor Julien Ochala, Department of Biomedical Sciences, email: For more information and application, visit the University of Copenhagen website.

Start:                  October 1st 2020

Duration:          3 years as a PhD student

Deadline application: July 19th 2020